(LOS ANGELES) — Christmas Day movie sales, estimated to be $73 million, are capping off a stellar year at the box office.
Les Miserables, the big-screen musical starring Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, led Christmas Day sales, with an estimated $17.5 million on its opening day.
Quentin Tarantino’s slave revenge fantasy Western Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington, also had a strong showing, coming in second at the box office with projected grosses of $14 million for its Christmas Day opening.
“The strength of Christmas day further solidified that we’re going out on a higher note,” Hollywood.com’s box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian told ABC News. “We are having one heck of a final push.”
That final push is expected to take box office sales to a record $10.8 billion by Jan. 31. That’s good news for Hollywood. After two consecutive years of declining ticket sales, movie attendance in North America is up by 5.6 percent, according to Dergarabedian.
Projections show that about 1.36 billion people will see films this year, compared with 1.29 billion in 2011, and revenue is expected to jump by 6 percent.
Plenty of films broke records this year, including The Avengers, which grossed $200.3 million its first weekend, and The Hobbitt: An Unexpected Journey, which raked in an estimated $84.8 million in its opening weekend for the highest December debut ever. Skyfall has taken in $280 million in North America so far, making it one of most successful James Bond movies on record.
Here were the top 10 highest-grossing movies of 2012:
1. The Avengers
2. The Dark Knight Rises
3. The Hunger Games
4. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
6. The Amazing Spider-Man
9. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
10. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Brett Crandall, BYU-Idaho Communications
Brett Crandall, BYU-Idaho Media Relations